Two essential ingredients for success in life are a sound personal relationship with the Creator of life, followed closely by sound relationships with those around us. In fact, it’s impossible to be truly happy without either of those. Jesus gave us the key to both when He said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”1
We can learn a lot about coping with change from the classic musical Fiddler on the Roof.1 The story takes place at the beginning of the 20th century and features a Jewish family suffering from poverty and religious persecution in the south of Russia. The father, Tevye, complains about having five daughters and no sons, not the ideal distribution on a farm. To make matters worse, his three older daughters picked husbands he didn’t approve of, one of them an Orthodox goy. Throughout the story, whenever there is trouble or change in the air, a man playing a fiddle on a roof appears to him in a vision.
About 13 years ago, my husband, Sam, and I had to make a trip from Calgary, Alberta, to Winnipeg, Manitoba, in Canada. We loaded up our old truck for the move and headed off. We had planned for this move pretty well. Everything was neatly packed and sorted. We had mapped our route and estimated our time. We had made a budget for gas, food, hotels, and all that. It was our first long trip with a baby, so we had made sure we had everything we needed for the journey. Our intention was most definitely to end up in Winnipeg.
Like most people, I like predictability. Change can mean stepping into the unknown and losing my comfortable routine, and that’s frightening.
It also means I have to give up some control. That’s scary too. Even when you prepare as well as you can, there are so many factors involved that you just can’t control them all.
The other day, some friends took me on what I thought would be a short climb. We parked the car and took a look at the summit. We got out our climbing gear and started putting on our boots and gathering what we needed in our backpacks.
It doesn’t seem that far or that difficult. Good! I thought.
Food is one of the most basic needs of humanity, so it makes sense that food would make an early entrance in the account of God’s dealings with us. In Genesis, plants and trees are given for food: “Every seed-bearing plant … Every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”1